The U.S. Surgeon General has issued a new report that says one in seven Americans will face substance addictions and only 10% of those who are now addicted receive treatment. The study, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, is the first report from a U.S. surgeon general on substance abuse.
“Solving this problem is not going to take place if we just pass a few laws or if public health experts just start a few more programs. It’s actually going to take all of us coming together to do our part.” That means parents talking to kids about addiction — early, he said. People who start drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to become addicted later in life than those who start at 20 or later, according to the report. It means schools implementing prevention programs and doctors receiving training on how to screen, diagnose and treat substance use disorders. And of course, policy makers must put resources into prevention and treatment programs, too, Murthy said. The report stresses that successful treatment of addiction requires more than a stint with a treatment program. Professional counseling and a supportive relationships both play key parts.